Gov. Parson Plans to Reopen Missouri

Ryan Fredrick, Reporter

Gov. Mike Parson said Tuesday his administration will work closely with local government officials as it creates guidelines to reopen the state.

The governor has hosted daily COVID-19 briefings for several weeks. These have been broadcast remotely, citing social distancing needs.

“I am ready for the state to re-open. I know that even with the state open again, it is not going to mean that we can go out into crowds, go to social events, or anything like that, but it would be nice to have a little bit of normalcy in all this chaos,” junior Alanna Espinoza said. 

Currently, the state stay-at-home order is set to expire May 3. Parson fielded several questions Tuesday about how his administration will proceed with reopening businesses as the order expires.

“The majority of the businesses, especially in the service area … will all be open in our guidance… after May 4.” Parson said. 

Parson’s administration is working to fill in the details of a plan he announced to reopen the state last week. The plan includes expansion of testing, building up supplies of personal protective equipment for first responders and health care workers, and using data to predict potential outbreaks.

“It has been a really strange time in all of our lives. The state is shut down, we’re not allowed to leave our house, we have to be careful anywhere we go. But if the state opens back up, it could bring back something normal again,” senior Anna Mitchell said. 

There will be guidelines for how many people can be in groups, and social distancing is still going to be an important factor in stopping the spread of coronavirus. The governor will give more specific details on the plans for reopening businesses and the guidelines they need to follow starting Friday.

“Being stuck inside all day has never been normal for me. I like to go out and be social, and this has broken my usual plans. The state reopening is not going to make everything normal again, but it is a big step,” junior Seth Chaplin said. 

To date, there have been 6,137 positive cases of COVID-19 including 208 deaths. Over 58,000 Missourians have been tested at this point, according to Parson on Tuesday.